Leaving the bike unlocked: trust discrimination in inter-ethnic encounters

Kanitsar, Georg (2023) Leaving the bike unlocked: trust discrimination in inter-ethnic encounters. European Sociological Review. DOI: 10.1093/esr/jcad045

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Migration and ethnic diversity are said to hamper the cultivation of social trust, as native citizens may hesitate to trust ethnic out-groups and racial minorities. This article examines trust discrimination against ethno-racial minorities in everyday interactions. In a field intervention, cyclists were approached with a request for help that required them to leave their bicycles alone for a short time. I experimentally manipulated the presence and the ethnic background of a bystander positioned close to the spot where the cyclists left their bikes behind and operationalized trust as the decision to leave the bike unlocked and unattended. I found that cyclists showed significantly less trust in the presence of ethno-racial minorities compared to natives. Furthermore, trust in the wild depends on the stakes involved, as measured by the value of the bike, and one’s vulnerability to trust betrayal, as indicated by the physical stature of the cyclists. By examining a real-life indicator of trust in inter-ethnic encounters, this study advances our knowledge of the ethnic boundaries of social trust and forms of covert discrimination in anonymous and multi-ethnic societies.

Item Type: Article in Academic Journal
Research Units: Current Research Groups > Education and Employment
Date Deposited: 28 Jul 2023 09:50
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2023 12:28
DOI: 10.1093/esr/jcad045
ISSN: 0266-7215
URI: https://irihs.ihs.ac.at/id/eprint/6625

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